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Messages - Maintain FL 350

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OP: I don't mean this to sound rude (seriously, I don't), but are you sure about that top 80% stip from Brooklyn? Are you sure they don't mean that you must be ranked at or above the 80th percentile (top 20%)? The reason I ask is because I've never seen such a generous stip. The best I've ever seen require that the student remain in "good standing", which could easily be above the top 80%, depending on the school.

I have no idea what the curve is at Brooklyn, but it seems at least questionable that a school would allow you to retain a scholarship if you are ranked in the bottom 20%. I'm not challenging your honesty, OP, I'm merely suggesting that you ask Brooklyn some questions.

Where should I go next fall? / Re: New opportunity means no JD
« on: June 07, 2012, 01:07:56 AM »
If you want to work in the business world, go for the MBA. It sounds like a great deal. If, however, you want to be a lawyer, there really is no point in delaying law school. The longer you wait the tougher it will be to return to school. If you have everything set to make that leap now, you might want to just do it.

Also, getting the MBA only makes sense if you truly intend to work in business for the rest of your career. If you intend to eventually go to law school, the MBA will not help you land a legal job.

I'm not trying to persuade you in either direction, I know nothing about your personal situation. Law school can be expensive and the job market is tough. You may not get your dream job straight out of law school. I'm not sure that the market is much better for MBAs, however. But here's something to consider: three years from now you're going to be three years older whether you like it or not. You can be three years older with a law degree, or three years older without a law degree. The choice is yours.   

Here is the general rule that you should follow: disclose, disclose, disclose. If you don't disclose, and your law school later discovers the disciplinary issue, you can be dismissed from law school. If they discover it after graduation, your degree can be revoked and you can be disbarred. I'm not making this up, check with your state's bar association.

Perhaps you already know this, but before you can be admitted to the bar you will have to acquire a positive Moral Character & Fitness determination from your state's  bar.  The process is essentially a detailed background check, and you will be required to disclose any and all instances of academic/legal probation. The bar will quickly figure out that you lied to your law school, and you will rue the day you failed to disclose. As you will learn in law school, when it comes to state bar admissions the cover up is often worse than the crime. Disclosure must be full and frank, making excuses and playing word games will not be tolerated. It is imperitive that you disclose the good, the bad, and especially the ugly. Anything involving drugs (yes, even pot) is taken very, very seriously.

I'm going to assume that you're friends who think this is no big deal are not law students or lawyers. Don't listen to them. I don't know how much disclosure will harm your chances of admission, but failure to disclose (which will be treated as a LIE by the state bar) will certainly hurt you.

Now, don't lose heart. I don't know what state you're in, but you're not the first person who has applied to law school with such issues. People here in CA do get admitted to law school and the bar with such isues, provided that they demonstrate that they have learned from their mistakes, remain squeeky clean, and are fully, 100% honest about their bad behavior. You should contact your state bar (or whatever state you want to live in) and ask them about their policies. They may have a program you need to follow to gain admission.

I hope this helps, and good luck!

Yes, you can still get into a T2 or 3, maybe even a non-elite T1. It really comes down to your LSAT performance and where you want to live. A high LSAT can overcome a low GPA/GPA problems. Lets say that your LSAC GPA ends up as you predict, around 3.55. With and LSAT of, say, 158 or above you'd have a good shot at plenty of T3s and T2s. With an LSAT of 160-165 you'd have a shot at some T1s.

Your specific grade trend and the fact that you failed some classes will  matter the most at schools for which your numbers are borderline. In other words, if you apply to a school whose median GPA/LSAT profile is 3.5/162, you may have atough time. For that school, your numbers would be pretty average and most of the other applicants probably don't have any Fs or Ws. If, however, you apply to a school whose profile is 3.3/155, and you have a 3.55/162, I think you're in good shape. Schools desperately want to increase their GPA/LSAT profiles in order to appease the gods at USNWR. I think that a significantly higher GPA and LSAT would overcome Ws and Fs at many T3s and 2s.

If you rock the LSAT, say 170 or above, you've got a shot at some T1s. You'll have to explain your scholastic problems on your applications. Don't make lame excuses, but use the opportunity to play up your dramatic improvement. I had an average/mediocre GPA and several years between undergrad and law school. I studied like crazy, got a very good LSAT score, and still managed to obtain a 75% scholarship to my top choice. In my experience, an LSAT score which is significantly above a given school's average can work wonders. 

Where should I go next fall? / Re: Stetson vs. Ave Maria vs. FIU
« on: May 30, 2012, 12:34:01 PM »
As usual, legend's post is spot on.

Personally, I'd narrow it down to FIU or Stetson with a strong preference for FIU. Ave Maria's scholarship is attractive, but the stips might be brutal. At full price I don't think either Stetson or AM are a better bet than FIU. Actually, even with substantial scholarships, FIU might be a better choice than Stetson or AM.

FIU is relatively new (est. 2000), which has something to do with it's ranking. Very few law schools are able to establish much of a reputation right off the bat. UCI is one of the few examples to the contrary. But if you look at FIU's underlying fundamentals, they're pretty solid. FIU is a large, reasonably well respected public research university. In my experience, large respected universities tend to produce decent law schools. FIU has the highest bar pass rate in FL, and is 3rd for scholarly output. Those are all good signs. Combined with the lower tuition, FIU seems like a deal.   

Where should I go next fall? / Re: Duquesne Law Part Time?
« on: May 30, 2012, 12:07:12 PM »
It really depends on what you want to do after law school. If you want to work in the Pittsburgh region, Duquesne is probably fine. Biglaw branch offices in Pittsburgh probably can still draw new hires from Penn and few other east coast schools. But for small/mid/govt jobs, Duquesne is probably alright. The amount of debt you're going to accrue, however, that's another story. I assume that most jobs in Pittsburgh/western PA don't pay top dollar, and you're going to have to find a way to make those payments.

With a 3.6/159 I'm a little surprised that you didn't get more than $5k. Did you apply very late in the cycle? Where else did you apply to? If you're not in a huge rush to start law school you might want to consider reapplying to a few other places in the area and seeing if you can swing a bigger scholarship. Pitt is a public law school with cheaper tuition, and you'd probably be guaranteed admisson with your numbers.

You can't pimp me out like that, Fortook. I'm old fashioned, and as chaste as a Romney. I'm like a Thomas Kinkade painting with legal training, and you sir have given me the vapors.

Thank you, Duncan, that's very nice. The fact is, most law students have little (if any) experience outside of the law school world. They fail to understand that biglaw, for example, represents a small percentage of the legal market, and that the rest of the world is not quite so obsessed with rankings. They also fail to understand that law is a results driven industry, and that if you don't produce results nobody gives a s*&$ where you went to law school. You can only rest on those laurels for so long.

Where should I go next fall? / Re: USC vs GULC ????
« on: May 29, 2012, 09:54:24 PM »
Unless we're talking about basketball, in which case...GO BRUINS! Sorry, I'm obligated.

25% of the judges and DAs in Orange County are Western State grads, and I have to think that the vast majority graduated before WSU had ABA approval.

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